Sonoma State University's Erna and Arthur Salm Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Grove pays remembrance to not only victims of the Holocaust but also other historic atrocities, from Rwanda's genocide to that of Cambodia under Pol Pot.
The grove now also will house a memorial to victims of the Japanese military during World War II.
The Asia-Pacific Theater “was a time of extraordinary atrocities and war crimes committed by Japanese Imperial Armed Forces on mainland Asia and island nations of the Pacific,” said SSU mathematics professor Jean Bee Chan.
Chan and her husband, Peter Stanek, president of the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia, organized the Pacific War Memorial installation, which will be dedicated Saturday in a 1:30 p.m. public ceremony at the grove, which is best accessed through the Rohnert Park Expressway entrance to the university.
Chan's younger brother fell ill and died during the war because, she said, the Japanese had destroyed nearby medical facilities that could have saved him.
The installation includes a rock bench and a pathway inscribed with messages for victims of the Japanese Army between 1931 and 1945.
“Asians have suffered a terrible injustice, largely ignored by the world, and Japan continues to deny her war crimes,” said Chan and Stanek in a statement.
SSU President Ruben Armiñana will speak at the ceremony and the Redwood Empire Chinese Association Chorus will be among featured performers. A reception is to follow at The Commons from 2:30 to 4 p.m.